Pentecost is a Christian holy day that celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit 50 days after Easter. Roman Catholics consider it the birthday of the Christian church and celebrate it as such. The feast of Pentecost is an invitation to the Church to look into itself and discover its soul.
Traditional images of the Holy Spirit are: Fire, Wind, Water, Cloud, Dove. Why such strange images? All of them (except ‘dove’, which can fly freely) have indeterminate boundaries, or no boundaries at all. They are reminders that we should never restrict the activity of the Spirit to those few things we can understand with our busy minds.
In a daring image Jessica Powers wrote about silence as a sort of decoy of the Holy Spirit. Just as hunters attract birds out of the sky by placing a wooden bird on the ground, we call down God’s Spirit by our silence.
The decoy of silence,
hope’s unuttered sigh,
that the Ultimate Silence
drift down from the sky.
We call down God’s Spirit by our silence. The Holy Spirit likes to work unseen, undeclared. We should never restrict the activity of the Spirit to those few things we can understand with our busy minds.
Why is talking about the Spirit not the same as living by the Spirit?
God of truth,
set our hearts alight and fill us with your Spirit, so that we might be inspired to speak out and make a difference to our own lives and the lives of others.
Watch this video which shows how the story of Pentecost fits in with the bigger story of the Bible.